Here are the 2022 James Beard Foundation Awards finalists from New England

Find out which of your favorite restaurants made the cut.

The main dining area at Orfano in Boston, shown pre-pandemic. It's reopening Nov. 19.

The James Beard Foundation has announced its 2022 finalist nominees for the James Beard Awards — one of the most prestigious awards a restaurant or chef can earn.

The non-profit celebrates restaurants and chefs around the country in many different categories, from Best Chef for each region of the country to Outstanding Restaurateur nationwide.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Chicago on June 13.

Though not many semifinalist Massachusetts restaurants made it to the finalist round, we can still root for other New England nominees who could still take home the gold.

Here are the nominees from New England in each category:

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) 

Vien Dobui, CÔNG TỬ BỘT, Portland, ME – This Portland staple is a Vietnamese restaurant that offers a great variety of Vietnamese dishes, both spicy and mild, and both omnivore and vegan.

The main dining area at Orfano in Boston, shown pre-pandemic. It’s reopening Nov. 19.

Tiffani Faison, Orfano, Boston, MA – Situated in the Fenway neighborhood, Orfano cooks up modern Italian dishes like hand-crafted pastas and steaks. The restaurant has a decadent atmosphere complete with golden chandeliers.


Courtney Loreg, Woodford Food and Beverage, Portland, ME – Woodford Food & Beverage offers American cuisine that’s largely New England-inspired. Here you’ll find excellent steaks and burgers, as well as mouth-watering apps.

Nisachon Morgan, Saap, Randolph, VT – Saap offers traditional Thai dishes primarily from the Isaan region in northern Thailand. They are prepared to order using a wood-fired grill and bamboo rice steamers, and as a bonus, the restaurant is located in the historic Kimball House.

Damian Sansonetti, Chaval, Portland, ME – Chaval cooks up both Spanish and French cuisine, offering both entrees and small plates. There, you’ll find everything from Spanish dry-cured ham to coq au vin.

Best New Restaurant 

Leeward, Portland, ME – If you like freshly-made pasta, Leeward is the place for you. Their Italian-inspired dishes can be made gluten-free, and they even have a pasta shop in case you can’t get enough of their homemade pasta.

Outstanding Baker 

Atsuko Fujimoto, Norimoto Bakery, Portland, ME – Norimoto Bakery offers handmade, fresh baked goods. They have a rotating seasonal menu based on what ingredients are in their prime at that time of the season.

Outstanding Wine Program 

Lauren Friel, owner of Rebel Rebel Wine Bar, in Somerville, Mass., stands for a portrait at the wine bar, Thursday, April 2, 2020. – (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Rebel Rebel, Somerville, MA – Named after the classic David Bowie song, this wine bar’s attitude is exactly what its name suggests. Serving natural wine, the bar is unapologetic about its progressive values.


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